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Factors Related to Food Worker Hand Hygiene Practices

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To identify factors related to food worker hand hygiene practices, we collected (i) observational data on food worker (n = 321) hand hygiene practices (hand washing and glove use) and (ii) observational and interview data on factors related to hygiene behavior, such as worker activity, restaurant characteristics, worker food safety training, and the physical and social environment. Results indicated that hand washing and glove use were more likely to occur in conjunction with food preparation than with other activities (e.g., handling dirty equipment) and when workers were not busy. Hand washing was more likely to occur in restaurants whose food workers received food safety training, with more than one hand sink, and with a hand sink in the observed worker's sight. Glove use was more likely to occur in chain restaurants and in restaurants with glove supplies in food preparation areas. Hand washing and glove use were also related to each other—hand washing was less likely to occur with activities in which gloves were worn. These findings indicate that a number of factors are related to hand hygiene practices and support suggestions that food worker hand hygiene improvement requires more than food safety education. Instead, improvement programs must be multidimensional and address factors such as those examined in this study.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: RTI International, 2951 Flowers Road, Suite 119, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA 2: National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MS F-28, 4770 Buford Highway, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA 3: Tennessee Department of Health, 425 5th Avenue North, Cordell Hull Building—6th Floor, Nashville, Tennessee 37247, USA 4: Connecticut Department of Public Health, Food Protection Program, Division of Environmental Health, MS #51 FDP, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O. Box 340308, Hartford, Connecticut 06134-0308, USA 5: Minnesota Department of Health, 410 Jackson Street, Suite 500, Mankato, Minnesota 56001, USA 6: Oregon State Public Health, Office of Environmental Public Health, 800 N.E. Oregon, Suite 608, Portland, Oregon 97232, USA 7: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Consumer Protection Division, 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, Colorado 80246, USA 8: RARE Hospitality International, Inc., 8215 Roswell Road, Building 600, Atlanta, Georgia 30350, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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